Partners in the Lazos de Agua project (One Drop, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), The Coca-Cola Foundation, and Fundación FEMSA) met recently in Guatemala to review the project’s 2018 achievements and challenges, and to approve an ambitious Annual Work Plan for 2019.
They also visited the community of Tucunel, in Guatemala’s Quiché department, which has every reason to celebrate because thanks to determined, community-led action, Tucunel now has reliable safe access to drinking water, despite its being located in the so-called “dry corridor” of Guatemala.
Last February, as part of as part of the “Quiché project” of Lazos de Agua and Water For People program’s Quiché Project, the Tucunel community completed construction on a water system that includes infrastructure for the collection, treatment, and distribution of water.
This system includes the water source and a 20 km pipeline, which extends through dry mountains to a 50,000 L storage tank, where the water is treated with chlorine. Then gravity is used to distribute the water through a 15 km network to more than 140 homes, and each home has a micro-water-meter to track consumption. The Water Committee, created by the Tucunel Community Assembly, is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the system, which consumers finance through regular service fees.
Tucunel is also making steady progress on the sanitation front, succeeding in attaining near-total coverage by building systems themselves while they receive technical support from partners in the field. Concurrently, Social Art interventions are held, aimed at modifying key behaviours around water sanitation. It’s expected that the few remaining homes without a toilet will have one installed in the short term, which will mean total coverage for the Tucunel community.
The Quiché Project includes 57 other communities just like Tucunel, where more than 24,000 people have benefitted from new or improved water and sanitation infrastructure, and more than 64,000 people have participated in Social Art for Behaviour Change (SABC) interventions. The Quiché Project is implemented through comprehensive intervention—including access, behaviour change, and capital—using out SABC approach, to achieve the simple goal of drinking water and sanitation services for everyone, forever.
As of December 2018, the Lazos de Agua Program has succeeded in improving access to safe water and sanitation services for more than 75,000 people, and has included Social Art for Behaviour Change interventions more than 78,000 people, in five Latin American countries.
For more information about the Quiché Project and the Lazos de Agua Program, visit www.lazosdeagua.org (in Spanish only)